⦿ CASE SUMMARY OF:
Usman Musa v. The State (2019) – CA
Court of Appeal
⦿LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:
Hussein Mukhtar, J.C.A.
⦿ LAWYERS WHO ADVOCATED
FOR THE APPELLANT
- Rilwanu Umar, Esq.
FOR THE RESPONDENT
- L. H. Garba, Esq., (DDPP, MOJ Kebbi State)
The Appellant was charged with the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death under Section 221(b) of the Penal Code before the High Court of Kebbi State.
The provision of Section 221 of the Penal Code states as follows:
Except in the circumstances mentioned in Section 222 Culpable Homicide shall be punished with death
(a) if the act which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death; or
(b) if the doer of the act knew or had reasons to know that death will be the probable and not only a likely consequence of the act or of any bodily injury which the act was intended to cause.
The evidence against the Appellant was that he, on about the 7th May 2016, used a knife and stabbed one Abdulrasheed Mohd (the deceased) on the stomach which led to the death of the victim on the 12th day of May, 2016.
The Appellant testified in his defence without calling any witness. The trial Court in its judgment found the Appellant guilty and convicted and sentenced him to death by hanging. The Appellant was dissatisfied with the said judgment and challenged same by filing a Notice of Appeal
- Whether the trial Court was right when it failed to properly consider the appellant’s defence of self-defence even when the evidence is irresistible? [and or whether the appellant was not in danger, fear and threat to his life?]
- Whether the trial Court was right to have convicted the appellant under Section 221(b) of the Penal Code when the prosecution did not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt?
- Whether the trial Court was not in error when it disallowed the appellant to make allocutus before the conviction?
- Issue 1 was resolved against the Appellant. The Court of Appeal held, “From the totality of the evidence adduced at the trial Court, the submissions of the prosecution counsel, the holding of the trial Court and the cases cited above pointed to the same direction and concluded that the accused person did not successfully raise self-defence in the instant case. The law and facts as far as this case is concerned do not favour the Appellant’s claim of right to self-defence. Issue one is resolved against the Appellant.”
- For issue 2, the Court of Appeal held, “In view of the appraisal herein, I am therefore of the view that the Appellant should have been convicted under Section 222(4) of the Penal Code for culpable homicide not punishable with death.” This is due to the fact that the accused was caught in a sudden fight, and his injury sustained which eventually led to the death of the deceased was not premeditated.
- For issue 3, the Court of Appeal held that an allocutus is usually required after a conviction of the accused have been made, and that whether or not the allocutus is allowed does not affect the conviction. Hence, the disallowing of allocutus does not disturb a Court’s ruling.
The Court of Appeal concluded with saying, “In its place, I find the Appellant guilty of Culpable homicide not punishable with death under Section 222(4) of the Penal Code and convict him accordingly. The Appellant is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, with hard labour, to take effect from the 7th May, 2016 the day he was arrested and placed in custody.”
Section 222(4) of the Penal Code;
⦿ SOME PROVISIONS
⦿ NOTABLE DICTA
Allocutus is defined as plea of leniency by the convicted person before the sentence of the Court. – Hussein Mukhtar, J.C.A. Usman Musa V. The State (2019).